Laundry Buying Guide - A guide to buying a washing machine, washer dryer or tumble dryer
Washing and drying your clothes is often a tiresome and monotonous task, so it’s important to help quicken the process in any manner possible. From drum size to spin speed, we’re here to cut through the jargon and tell you what you really need to know when buying a new automatic washing machine, washer dryer or tumble dryer.
Laundry appliances are available as integrated into your kitchen cabinetry or freestanding for use in your kitchen, utility room or garage. It’s entirely up to you which type you choose but always remember to make sure that you can keep your appliance in the right conditions, as some are unable to operate in extreme cold or if it’s too hot.
For more information about each type of product, click on one of the following links:
With laundry machines, you can choose from the following options:
Front loading – Fit under a work surface or integrated into the cabinetry and are easily accessible.
Top Loading– Require more space such as utility room or garage to store it; increased water usage but also increased drum capacity suitable for bigger families.
These are available as either:
Integrated – built into the cabinetry and can be concealed with a door to match your kitchen cabinets. (Top loading machines aren’t usually able to be integrated.)
Freestanding – Like the name suggests, this type of machine is able to stand alone and is more versatile than an integrated one.
The majority of washing machines have an average of 6kg capacity which should suit most people, however if you’ve got a bigger family or need to wash more clothes on a regular basis (11 football kits every Sunday night?), it’s worth considering a washing machine with 7-10kg capacity. Washer dryers can have the same capacity as regular washing machines when washing but will generally be unable to dry as much as they can wash (about 4kg capacity for drying), whilst tumble dryers usually offer around the same capacity as a standard washing machine (4-6kg) but obviously for drying clothes.
Features & Programmes
Most machines will have standard for cottons, synthetics, delicates and woollens, but more sophisticated machines are capable of much more. If you pay a little more, you’ll generally be looking at features such as pre-wash for heavily-soiled items, short wash or eco wash and hand washing for wools and silks. You’ll nearly always have an adjustable temperature control and other dials, which give you control of precisely how the clothes are washed. Other features such as time delays are really useful for those with a busy schedule, so you can set the programme to finish just as you wake in the morning for example.
Being bombarded with various statistics about the machine’s spin speed can be confusing, so let’s break it down for you: Spin speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and the average is around the 1100-1200 mark on most machines. The bigger the number, the more water is removed from the drum, and the less drying your clothes will require. If you’re looking to use a washer dryer (or wash in a washing machine and then dry in a tumble dryer), then for every 200rpm more your washing machine has, it will reduce the tumble drying time by 10 minutes.